Over the years at The Croissant Tree we have done quite a lot of research and have gathered a great deal of information about coffee. There is quite a lot that has been written about coffee - the various types of coffee bean, the different roasts, acidity, caffeine content and so on, seemingly, ad infinitum. We have also discovered that, over the past decade, there has emerged a bewildering number of specially prepared coffees that have brought along with them great confusion over the name each one should have and just how it should be "correctly" prepared.
To include all of this collected data in this manual would be overwhelming and, admittedly, not all of it entirely useful. We hope, then, to first present some of the more useful and interesting facts about coffee for your interest and education. Secondly we present a standardized list of Croissant Tree Specialty Coffees and how they are made.
Arguably, the most important part of the manual is the list of our Croissant Tree Specialty Coffees. However, we encourage you to look at the first section which serves as a more general study of coffee. Its content is not, strictly speaking vital to the day to day running of a successful retail coffee franchise, however, it is informative and will, from time to time, impress a customer. You will, for example, occasionally encounter customers with very particular opinions about how coffee should be prepared. You will find there are others still that are prepared to discuss endlessly obscure details about anything from where the coffee is grown to the particular acidity or body of specific coffee blends. Naturally we cannot afford all the time in the world to enter into such discussions, however, the more you know about such things the better rapport you will have with this kind of customer. It certainly cannot hurt the store's reputation, and may very well impress even the loftiest customer.
Arguably a coffee manual should begin with a discussion of coffee. Legend has it that in 850AD a goatherder noticed that his herd was livlier after eating the red berries of a local shrub. Experimentation with the bean began soon after that, the first coffee trees were cultivated, and by 1995 coffee had become the world's most popular beverage with reportedly more than 400 billion cups consumed each year. It is a world commodity that is reportedly second only to oil.
It is no small wonder, then, that a whole coffee culture' has grown out of those humble beginnings including a language and phraseology all its own. Here is a list of the more important concepts and terminology of coffee.
The Coffee Bean
Arabica: Arabica' is considered the highest quality bean and is used to make espresso blends and gourmet coffees. Arabica makes up 3/4 of the world's coffee production, is grown commercially in 45 countries and requires a great amount of care in cultivation. Arabica produces a flavourful, aromatic coffee containing 1.17 per cent caffeine and which is low in acidity. It is, however, more expensive than the Robusta variety.
Robusta: Robusta' is widely used in canned, instant and less expensive coffees. It is grown mainly in Asia and Africa and can withstand harsher temperatures and conditions. Robusta beans contain at least twice the caffeine content of Arabica beans, has less flavour and aroma and is high in acidity. It is, however, less expensive than the Arabica.
Brazil is the world's largest producer of coffee which may surprise those of us who hear so much about Colombiann coffee (Juan Valdéz on his little donkey, carefully gathering up what the advertisers say is the worlds best coffee.') Such claims are not entirely unfounded since the worlds second largest producer of coffee is, in fact, Colombian. The best colombiann beans are hand sorted (perhaps by Juan himself) which makes the grading of coffee important. Coffee blends called Supremo' ideally come from the largest size Colombiann bean and the bean is uniform and without imperfections.
Coffee is, in fact, grown in many regions of Central and South America. This area of the world accounts for most of the coffee available in North America but coffee is also grown in many other parts of the world including Africa, Tanzania and even unlikely places such as Hawaii. Each region produces its own quality of bean. Some are richer in body and acidity while others are more sweet tasting with less acidity. Once again, however, a detailed study of such differences would be impractical for use in this manual. Your coffee distributor, at your request, will be more than likely quite willing to provide you with any particulars about the coffee he is selling you - the region it comes from and from what type of bean it is derived.
Dark Roasted: Longer roasting, more tangy. Less acidity and somewhat less caffeine. Medium Roasted: For most coffees a medium roast brings out the richest flavour and aroma.
Traditionally in Canada the most popular roasted blend has been a medium roast but the trend seems to now be towards a darker roast.
Light Roasted: As the name implies this type of roast produces a smoother, very mild flavour and aroma.
Acidity: The dryness coffee leaves at the back of your palate. This pleasant tartness is what is commonly called acidy. Body: Sense of heaviness or richness. If you drink coffee with milk you would prefer a coffee with body. Bitter: An unpleasant taste which is sharp and disagreeable. Iron contamination causes bitterness. Mild: Smooth taste typical of washed Arabica and Brazilian coffees.
There have emerged a bewildering number of specialty coffees over the past decade. The Croissant Tree, in the interest of standardizing, has come up with a list of the Specialty Coffee that its retail outlets prepare:
Chocolate syrup and espresso with steamed mild, served with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles in a tall glass.
1/3 Chocolate Syrup
1/3 Frothed Milk
An espresso diluted with hot water and topped with whipped cream.. Served with cinnamon or chocolate in a tall glass.
3/4 Hot Water
Caffe Latte Con Sapore
An espresso with fresh steamed milk, enhanced with a choice of Torani or Classic syrup. Topped with cinnamon or chocolate.
1/2 oz. Flavoured syrup
An espresso with fresh steamed milk topped with a creamy froth. Sprinkled with cinnamon or chocolate.
1/3 Steamed Milk
1/3 Frothed Milk
Café au Lait
An espresso with hot freshly steamed milk. Garnished with cinnamon or chocolate sprinkles.
3/4 Steamed Milk
An espresso made with dark roasted coffee beans
One full shot of Espresso
An espresso "marked" with a dollop of frothed milk.
One full shot of Espresso
Espresso Con Panna
An espresso topped with whipped cream.
One full shot of Espresso
A shot of espresso is dilluted with hot water creating a mild full flavoured coffee.
4/5 Hot Water